In the previous post, we had a look at the reasons why there is excessive facial and body hair in women with PCOS.
Today, we will deal with the important aspect of how to get rid of it!
Hair removal can be of two types: temporary or permanent. In this post, I will cover just the temporary methods of hair removal.
This is the removal of hair through the process of chemical degradation. This method removes hair only at the surface.
1. Shaving: The most popular form of depilation.
Image source: http://www.pinterest.com
- No pain, since the root of the hair is not removed
- Easy, convenient and economical
- There’s no increase in hair growth, but the hair does grow back thicker or coarser. No one wants that, especially not for the facial hair. Personally, nothing feels more unfeminine to me than a 5 O’clock shadow.
- Can cause ingrown hair and infection of the hair follicles (folliculitis)
Shaving is a great option for hands and legs, especially if you’re pressed for time. But for my face, personally, no.
2. Chemical degradation methods:
Here in India, you get Veet hair remover (and probably other brands too). It has an active ingredient and a cream which you apply onto the skin and let it sit for around 5 minutes. Your hair then turns kind of frizzy and comes off really fast if you wash.
Basically, in this method, hair is separated from its follicle by the breakage of disulphide bonds. Again, similar to shaving, the root of the hair is not removed in this method.
- Fairly economical
- Can cause redness and irritation
- Can cause folliculitis or ingrown hair
- Not safe for use on the face
I never really enjoyed the smell of these products. Also, I’d always miss a few hairs here and there and have to shave those. I’ve only tried these on the hands and legs because there were strict warnings against using it on the face on the packaging. Altogether, I found it pretty cumbersome, but that’s just me.
This the removal of the intact hair with its root. So, as you can imagine, the hair doesn’t grow back as fast.
- Tweezing/plucking: Basically, just get a tweezer and go to town on your facial hair.
Image source: http://bhanuni.com/facial-hair-removal/
- Removes hair from the root
- Ouch, ouch, ouch. I can’t even contemplate tweezing upper lip hair. It is okay for eyebrow shaping a little here and there and chin hair though.
- Hair grows back thicker and coarser in my experience
- Time consuming. It would take hours to remove a thick blanket of facial hair and your arms would probably die by then.
- Irritation, increased pigmentation
- Ingrowth, folliculitis
Here, hot wax is applied to the skin in the direction of growth of the hair. A cotton strip or sheet is placed over the wax and yanked in the opposite direction till you see stars.
Beauticians here talk about lots of different types of wax: ordinary, chocolate, vanilla, banana.. no I’m kidding, there’s just ordinary and chocolate. We don’t actually eat the wax, at least I don’t think so :p They say the chocolate one will help to reduce skin tanning. You can see for yourself. Skin always appears lighter after removing dark hair from it, in my opinion 😉
- Good coverage of hair removal especially if you get it done at a salon/ beauty parlour. You can make sure they get all the nooks and corners. It can be tricky to wax your elbow for example on your own at home, though.
- My skin usually feels quite soft afterwards
- Hair is removed from the roots, and over time, the hair grows back less thick and in lesser amount. I have seen this for myself for the hair on my arms.
- The pain is pretty bad, especially the first few times. It doesn’t linger for long and it does get better with more sessions though. I have walked out of a salon with only one underarm waxed once, and never let anyone wax my underarm again :p It all depends on how much pain tolerance you have and how sensitive your skin is.
- Requires pretty high pain tolerance to wax your face. After my underarm waxing debacle, I never even thought of letting anyone wax any part of my face. But I do know some women who wax their faces, necks and chests regularly, so it depends on you.
- Can cause redness, irritation, ingrowth of hair.
Image source: http://epilatorgirl.com/braun-silk-epil-9561/
These are electric devices which pull multiple hairs out of the roots when rolled over the skin. They come in rechargeable and battery operated varieties. The battery operated design can be used either wet or dry.
- Easy, convenient
- Less regrowth, similar to waxing
- Can be painful especially the first time, since the hair is being pulled out from the roots.
- Time consuming and lack of finish since you’re doing it yourself
I cannot speak from personal experience, since I’ve never used an epilator. I have friends who swear by it, though, so it must be effective, If anyone wants further feedback for this product, let me know, I’ll find out for you.
Image source: http://larecette.info/indian-eyebrow-threading-orlando.html
Here, threads are criss crossed between fingers to create a sort of mini scissors or lasso which yanks the hair out by the roots.
- Nothing will give your eyebrows a beautiful shape and finish like threading does. That’s a fact.
- Removes even the finest of hair
- Quick, if the beautician is experienced
- Personally, I don’t feel a lot of pain with eyebrow or chin threading. But upper lip. Wow. I cry buckets sometimes. I take a lot of breaks, sniffle and suffer through it. Beauty does involve some suffering, sadly.
- The level of pain and the end result of eyebrow shape etc depend a lot on the beautician. If you find someone with a good painless hand, be super polite with her, take her number and request for her every time.
- Sometimes you may get an inexperienced beautician who messes up your eyebrows completely and you end up looking less like Cinderella and more like her evil stepmother for a few weeks
- Can cause redness
- If you don’t hold your skin tight, it can cause cuts
That completes the list of temporary methods of hair removal. What’s your favourite? Let me know in the comments below.
Featured image source: http://www.beautyconnectionspa.com/services/wax-district.html